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The Santa Monica Police Department celebrated Lauralee Asch, the Coalition's founding president, on her last day with the City, suitably Valentine's Day. Coalition President Micah Michalski and Board Secretary Bradley Michaud joined Mayor Ted Winterer, City Councilmember Kevin McKeown, City Manager Rick Cole, Chief Operating Officer Katie Lichtig, Chief Kenneth Semko, Captain Clinton Muir, and Lauralee's colleagues from the Police Department and City Hall in honoring Lauralee's 29 years of service with Santa Monica. It was a well-deserved send off to someone who has given so much to our community and the City family. We wish you all the best, Lauralee. ... See MoreSee Less

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Ana Jara grew up in Santa Monica. Now, she is Youth and Family Services Support Coordinator for the Santa Monica Police Department. She works with Santa Monica youth who have engaged in criminal conduct by supporting them and their families with services that address mental health and substance addiction. We are lucky in Santa Monica to have many diverse service providers who collaborate with each other and the City to support our youth, minimize their exposure to the formal criminal justice system, and reduce recidivism rates. Thank you, Ana, for your commitment and dedication to our communities.
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Lauralee Asch is Lead Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Santa Monica Police Department. Crime Prevention Coordinators work collaboratively with police officers in a particular beat. They reach out to schools, resident groups, and business associations as liaisons for the police department with an emphasis on crime prevention. They coordinate neighborhood watch meetings, make public presentations on safety programs, organize special events such as National Night Out, conduct residential and commercial security surveys, and facilitate the popular Community Police Academy program. Lauralee has produced numerous educational productions on behalf of the police department. She won a Los Angeles Emmy Award in 2002 for producing “Every 15 Minutes” a 30-minute documentary on the perils of drunk driving aimed at high school students. Lauralee has served as the lead crime prevention coordinator since late 2009, but has worked in the Community Affairs unit since 1996.

Lauralee moved to Santa Monica with her family from her native New York as a teenager, and graduated from both Santa Monica High School (samohi) and Santa Monica College. She started her career in the City in 1989, first as a parking enforcement officer. But an opportunity to work with victims of crime called out to her, and in less than six months she was promoted to the position of Community Service Officer (CSO) for SMPD. Community Service Officers alleviate the workload on sworn officers by taking crime reports from victims when the suspect has already left the scene. CSOs spend additional time with the victims and help them get through the trauma of crime. The position gave her great insights to her current crime prevention position, providing her with real life information to help people avoid becoming victims.

Lauralee has also served as a President and Vice President of both bargaining units that have represented her in her City career: Municipal Employees Association (MEA) and Administrative Team Associates (ATA). In 2001, she spearheaded a coming together of bargaining units of non-sworn city employees to address concerns common to all. She became founding President of the Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees, a position she held until last month. The Coalition negotiated with the City to maintain and improve health benefits, enhance retirement benefits at employees’ expense, and create an independent medical retirement trust that reimburses retirees for a portion of their medical insurance premiums. The trust eliminated an unfunded liability for the City, while alleviating some of the anxiety of medical insurance costs for retirees.

Lauralee’s passionate commitment to Santa Monica extends to its civic groups. She is a past member of the Santa Monica Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). She is a current member of the Santa Monica Police Activities League, and is particularly proud of its programs that benefit the youth of Santa Monica.

Next week, Valentine’s Day, will be the last day of Lauralee’s 29 year career with the City of Santa Monica. So many have been impacted by her dedication to the City, its residents, and its employees. She has helped countless victims deal with the devastating aftermath of crime. She has helped numerous residents and businesses implement steps that prevent future crime. And, she has helped thousands of city employees have access to health care, and to be able to retire with dignity.

Lauralee plans to continue her civic involvement with Santa Monica community organizations after she retires. Besides spending more time with friends and family, which prominently includes her adorable pooch Mackenzie, she will also pursue her love of photography and travel. And undoubtedly, she will continue to be a zealous and passionate fanatic of the Los Angeles Dodgers. We wish you all the best in your golden years, Lauralee. Thank you for having touched so many lives with your professional career.
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Sirinya Matute is Transit Marketing Coordinator for Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus. She provides resources that help customers integrate public transportation as a viable option in their daily lives. She has also led projects such as Next Bus, Big Blue Bus’s online real time information portal, to ensure its accuracy, and to look for further innovations that will enhance its accessibility by BBB customers. Sirinya also uses actual data and customer feedback to improve riders’ interactions with Big Blue Bus. Thank you, Sirinya, for all that you do to make Santa Monica a city with real transportation options.
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